Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Feels Like Home

I've been living about an hour north of home for right around 7 years now. Granted, four of those years were college days, so for the summer and extended holidays I packed back up and headed south. Upon graduating though, I made one of the first big decisions in my new "big girl" life and chose to stay in Georgetown in order to get an apartment and start my career in Lex. Two apartments in Gtown and one house in Lex later, I'm still an hour north and always dreaming of a future home with a few acres that will make me feel more in the country.

This past weekend though, after my first overnight stay with my mom and dad since maybe Christmas, I felt a homesickness I haven't felt since probably those first months out on my own. That Saturday morning when I woke up, the day wasn't dreary but it definitely felt more like fall than summer. Overcast and cool, I pulled on my shoes and made my way out to my mamaw and pap's house at the other end of the road to visit for a while and enjoyed the silence and calmness of it all with the windows down. There's nothing more peaceful than a backwoods early morning. The dew lays still on the grass, the trees sway silently in the breeze, everything is still sleepy and only beginning to yawn and stretch its way awake.

After talking for a while, Mamaw and I headed out to the garden to pick some fresh goodies for me to take back home. At first I stayed out, thinking the ground was too wet from the prior day's rain and would muddy my shoes. Then I took a few steps in, only to be told by my Pap that I'd get my shoes dirty and then "put them all over that nice clean car." I laughed and said "Well, that can be remedied now can't it?" and came back to the edge of the grass to take my shoes and socks off and roll up my jean legs. I then spent a bit playing in the garden barefoot while picking beans and tomatoes. It'd been so long since I'd done that. Mamaw started talking about a picture she has of me from when I was younger, standing barefoot in the garden with my hoe, helping with the upkeep. I used to help plant vegetables every summer- I still remember the way corn stains your hands pink.

I want so badly to have all that again one day. To own a home that sits on a piece of land large enough that it pushes the rest of the world away, if only for a mile or two. To be surrounded by trees that I, and my future children, can go exploring in and make up adventures along the way. To have backroad long enough to teach my children how to drive long before they ever hit 16. To be able to head to the backyard and have target practice without having to think twice. To have a small garden to provide homegrown nurishment to my family. Hopefully Justin and I will be able to find a haven such as that, be able to afford it and build our lives on it. That way I can grow old in the same way I grew up.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kindness Gives me Hope

Friday morning I woke up a little too dreary and draggy and decided that I'd make it one of my "treat" days and grab a coffee at Starbucks. I'm not really a coffee drinker (unless there's a good amount of other flavors to cover the taste up) but I love the white chocolate mocha there.

I pulled into the drive thru and put in my order. I barely noticed that the lady in front of me was having a bit longer conversation with the barista than normal. She was probably just asking for a napkin or extra whip cream or something. When I pulled up to the window to hand the man my change (yes, I was paying with change cause sometimes it piles up and you need to lighten your purse) he made the following statement: "That lady that was in front of you? Her name is Leslie and she just paid for your coffee." I was shocked. All I could spit out was "What? Really? Wow." Profound, I know.

Of course I've never had anything quite like that happen to me before. But I was immediately wrapped in the thought of how it's the people like Leslie, who perform random acts of kindness for strangers, that really give me hope that the world isn't an entirely demoralized and bad place. That there are more people out there than I usually think that care about others at least as much as they care about themselves and sometimes just take a notion to make a perfect stranger smile.

Granted, I can't say that I've ever done such a thing as Leslie did for me that day, but I can say that I try to show my appreciation and kindness for others in the tiny, mundane things throughout the day. A door held open, thank you and please spoken to the person at the restaurant that takes my order, allowing people to pull into a lane of traffic during rush hour. All things that most folks don't really think twice about, but things that those that pay attention appreciate and reciprocate.

I've always enjoyed the stories of how just one smile at a perfect stranger you pass on the street can turn into a whole string of smiles going out to strangers who may have just really needed it right at that moment. Or the thought that if only one person sees you lend a hand to another, they'll be inspired enough to do one thing for someone else that day and so on and so forth. Hope is a powerful thing. And sometimes it's all you have to get through the day.

So thank you Leslie, whoever and wherever you are. Thank you for your kind gesture, for making me stop a moment to mull things over and put a few more ounces of myself into the part of my soul that holds hope for everything going on in life. I'll definitely not forget this.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's Just a Little Crush

After hearing the name Halestorm being tossed around for upcoming concerts, I decided to take a gander at the band. And now I'm crushing :) They're first single "I Get Off" is an awesome summer anthem (in a voyeuristic kind of way) but this is the performance I'm totally in love with.

Here's Halestorm's acoustic cover of Heart's classic "All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You"

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Whole Shebang

I looked forward to this past weekend so much. It was a special one, three days, and I was sooo ready for that Friday spent sleeping in instead of dragging my butt to work. And then I remembered the list. You know, that mental list you keep of all the things happening on any particular day? Yeah, that one was pretty full for this weekend.

Friday afternoon found me at home visiting my family and that night attending my cousin's 6th birthday party. Good food, cute kids and three hours later I was headed back to Lex to hit the bed and start all over the next day.

Saturday morning found Justin washing my GTO to prepare her for polishing (I have pictures of her sitting in the garage cause I"m pretty sure it'll be the first and only time for, well, ever). I was starting on laundry and digging a small trench out along the sunroom to bury our cable and telephone lines that have been laying on top of the ground for forever. After lunch Justin started digging the holes for our fire bushes we bought a few weeks ago and we were successful at planting three before the rain started. Yep, rain on the 4th of July. Two years running now.

Saturday evening we headed over to Gtown to spend time with The Maxwells and The Thomai (and yes, that is the new plural for Thomas'). Unfortunately the rain never let up and poor Nick had to grill in the wet. After a great meal and some fun playtime with Bailey, we all headed over to the park for their fireworks display. Timing apparently isn't the forte of many people setting off firework displays as it was supposed to start at 9pm (and the rain had stopped). Instead, it was sometime after 9 and the rain had started again. Figures. But the show was pretty and I'm glad that Justin and I were there to see it.

The night took a turn for the worse however upon arriving home a little after 11. Our neighbors were throwing a party, and as a result there were cars parked on both sides of the street. You would think it common knowledge (and math skills) that if you park vehicles on both sides of a subdivision street it's going to make it nearly impossible for those not at the party to squeeze through in order to make it home. Or not. After some griping on that front, Justin and I settled down on the couch for a bit to wind down before bed. We were going to have to get up early Sunday morning to head to God's country for his family reunion. Had we really wanted to go to bed by oh, say midnight thirty though, it would have been impossible. Said neighbors decided to celebrate the 5th of July by starting (not continuing, just starting) their fireworks at 12:15am. And not end them until after 1am. This girl was not a happy camper (and I'm not usually the nicest of people past 11:30 anyway). To make matters worse, we walked out the next morning to firework residue all over Justin's car and truck. Round two of not happy campers. Have people really lost all respect? Wait, don't answer that.

Sunday was spent hanging out with Justin's family, eating tons of awesome (and totally bad for you) food and doing a few odds and ends around the house before hitting the bed last night to prepare for work this morning. And I don't care how busy you were on the weekend, having to go back to work on Monday morning is always the hardest part.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Not Enough Time in the Day

It seems like we've been going non-stop over the past month with projects, social outings and such. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't have asked to do it differently, I just can't figure out where the month of June went to amongst it all!
Our Project:Revamp Kitchen has been going very well. My dad was able to lay all the tile and grout one room in 3 days, while Justin's dad came up the final day and helped grout the other room (since Dad wouldn't take any money from us, we figured we'd save him one trip). We couldn't be happier with how things have turned out!
the sunroom

the kitchen

We're still in the process of getting the trim around the bottom down, the door and window framed back up and trimmed around and probably a new ceiling fan put in, but we're taking it one little piece a day at a time.

Justin was able to get the garage cleaned back up and put back in one piece a few days ago, thanks to some help from the newest addition to his garage organizing shelves. I bought him a cabinet for his birthday last year and he bought a floor cabinet the other day to put underneath it. I'm pretty sure his Camaro was happy to be back in her home after being parked in the driveway for so many days in a row (and now I won't set her security alarm off every morning when I start the GTO).

I've been spending time building up some inventory in my second attempt at a shop on The first time around I really didn't know what I wanted to do and after a few months of selling random handmade things, I cleared it out and was just a buyer for a while (I bought most of my Christmas gifts from there). When I found the pattern for fabric flowers, I knew they were going to be my new direction. And I've recently expanded from the full sized flowers to include miniatures that can be used for brooches, magnets, embellishments or hairclips.

And this weekend is a 3 day long holiday one, which I'm very excited about! I didn't realize until this morning though everything that we'll be doing. Tonight is a birthday celebration for our friend Brian, then I'm having the Krav girls (we're like a gang, lol) over while the boys are out doing they're thing. Tomorrow I'm heading home to visit the family and attend my cousin's 6th birthday party. Saturday we'll be planting the fire bushes we bought last week and then heading over to Nick and Nicole's for a 4th of July cookout. And Sunday is Justin's family reunion. Whew! I get tired just thinking about it, lol. But it's going to be so much fun packed into every day that it's entirely worth the needing to take Monday off to rest up :)